A young cowboy takes the reins of a competition horse

An 11-year-old teams up with a championship horse at the Black Hills Stock Show.
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 6:58 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - It’s called ranch riding; judges look at how a horse can walk, trot, and lope.

Often the horses are shown by adults with years of experience. But this year, it was 11 year old Lane Jones who rode in on a champion. This was Lanes’ and Fiery French Whiskeys first time competing in the ranch riding competition.

“Just something to do, we just needed those couple last points, that’s why,” said Lane Jones, up-and-coming professional horse trainer

Lane’s dad said that they wanted to showcase the mind and ability of Fiery French Whiskey, and they knew Lane was going to be able to present that.

“It’s really cool that he was able to step up and remember, you know, a little bit of a complicated pattern to get a horse maneuvered through. Especially at 11 years old, it was quite impressive of him and for the horse to handle it and to go right along with it,” said Luke Jones, professional horse trainer

Fiery French Whisky is 6 years old this year, and started training when he was 3, with Luke Jones Performance Horses. FFW won his first competition when he was 4 years.

Lane grew up riding horses, and in the past couple of years started showcasing the working cow horse event, and roping, this year the horse’s owner took a chance and placed Lane in a new event. It was a chance that paid off.

“We actually ended up the next day getting the points altered to close out his AQHA championship, and to be frank, Lanes’ run was a bigger deal to me than the championship itself,” said Dan Whetham, co-owner of Fiery French Whiskey

Thursday, Lane and FFW placed on the L2 heading run competition.